Julia Archibald Holmes Rides

Julia Archibald Holmes Rides . . .

Julia Archibald Holmes will tell you that although Zebulon Pike said the mountain named after him could never be climbed, in 1858 she made it to the top--after walking the Santa Fe Trail. "Do you not think," Ann Birney as Holmes asks, "that Julia Anna Archibald Holmes Peak would be a much more fitting name for that mountain?"
I wore a calico dress, reaching a little below the knee, pants of the same, Indian moccasins on my feet, and on my head a hat. However much it lacked in taste, I found it to be beyond value in comfort and convenience, as it gave me freedom to roam at pleasure in search of flowers and other curiosities, while the cattle continued their slow and measured pace.
Julia Archibald Holmes travelled the Santa Fe trail on foot in bloomer costume in 1858 from the family farm on the Neosho river in Kansas to New Mexico, becoming on the way the first white woman to climb Pike's Peak. Ann Birney of Ride into History brings Julia Holmes alive with a dramatic first-person narrative based on Julia Holmes's letters. Julia tells stories of life on the trail--leaving the last letters at Council Grove, receiving advice from the only other lady with the wagon train--"a woman unable to appreciate freedom or reform"--adopting an orphaned buffalo calf, and picking and eating lice.